September 22, 2007
A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-1832
By Joan W. Blos
The other night when I couldn't sleep, I picked up one of Anne Michal's library books...A Gathering of Days...A New England Journal 1830-32 by Joan W. Blos. The journal was started by a young girl when she was 13. Reading it I felt like I was being comforted by this young girl and learning along with her. She had lost her mother and little brother shortly after he was born. Then later she lost her best friend. There was a time when grief like ours would not be unusual. Most family had losses of young children and many children lost their parents when they were young. It helps to know that we are not the only ones called to do this...anyway here are some lines from the book.
"But spring, I think, suffices; and Spring comes to us all."
"Joy and sorrow, says our father, each makes its own season."
"Mamman says that joyful times should as turly confirm our faith as times of sorrow test it. For good times and ill each have their place; and he who doubts or questions either will only reveal how poor is his trust, how flawed his obedience."
" 'and now she's so very--so gone from us all?
'No!' I protested. 'More with us than ever, for she lives in our thoughts and love. ' But that was only something to say. My
heart knew that Sophy was right."
"Mamman says we mourn all deaths with each particular grief. Are we then with those strangers joined whose lives, names, faces are veiled from us yet whose griefs we share?"
"This year, more than others, has been a lengthy gathering of days wherein we lived, we loved, were moved; learned how to accept."
"For tho' the wind is bitter outside, for Cassie it is Spring for ever, nor shall she leave that season."
"Now let ev'ry occasion fill
command they heart to joy."
"Glad although not unafraid, I am determined to obey, believing that only the form of instruction is mysterious."
"And that is what life's all about--changes going on every minute, and you never know when something begins where it is going to take you.
So one thing I want to say about life is don't be scared and don't hang back, and most of all, dont' waste it."